Personality: Formed by Genes or Environment

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Why is it that some people are more aggressive than others? Why some people can control their emotions better than others? Or why some people are more anxious than others?
Psychologists have wondered what contributes to peoples' personality and how they act around others. Most people believe it is from the environment they grew up in, such as their location or how their parents raised them. The University of Minnesota investigated these thoughts by constructing a twin study involving twins that grew up in the same environment and twins that were separated at birth. After two decades of researching personality traits among twins, the U of M found the correlations of personality traits of twins living together and presented it in a table. The U of M then showed the correlation of personalities of twins living separately on the table next to the twins raised together. The correlations of personalities were very similar. This finding hints that the environments in which kids are raised in has little or no affect on peoples' personalities.

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Actually, a large portion of the variance in personality is due to environment...

I have to admit that it really bothers me when people try to find just ONE cause to any given thing, especially with something as complicated as personalities and reactions. When introduced to a stimulus, it's not just the stimulus that we're being exposed to, we're being exposed to that and every other piece of information that we've ever been exposed to that forms our thoughts and feelings regarding how to react. This also runs to the genetic level on how stimulus is processed and whether it's tolerated or not, etc. Though these studies definitely prove that it is not merely environmental, which is a step in the right direction.

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This page contains a single entry by wagen057 published on January 23, 2012 4:59 PM.

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